New NSW Skills Minister Dr Geoff Lee

The NSW Government’s new ministry has been announced, and features Dr Geoff Lee (pictured) as the Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, with responsibility for the state’s adult and community education providers.

Dr Lee, the Member for Parramatta in Sydney’s west, and replaces the Hon John Barilaro, Deputy Premier, who retains the portfolios of Minister for Regional New South Wales, Industry and Trade. The former Assistant Minister for Skills, Adam Marshall, is the new Minister for Agriculture and Western New South Wales.

The new Minister for Education is National’s MLC Sarah Mitchell, replacing Rob Stokes (back to planning). There is a new portfolio for Regional Youth which goes to Nationals MLC Bronwyn (Bronnie) Taylor, who spoke at the Community Colleges Australia conference in November.

Stuart Ayres, Member for Penrith, is the Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney.

The new portfolios were announced on 31 March by the NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

Community Colleges Australia welcomes Dr Lee to his new role, and thanks Deputy Premier Barilaro for his close attention to and strong support for NSW community education providers.

About Dr Geoff Lee, MP

Prior to entering politics in 2015, Dr Geoff Lee was the Associate Dean (Engagement) at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) from 2007 to 2011, a lecturer in business at UWS from 2004 to 2007 and a TAFE teacher from 2002 to 2003.

At UWS, Dr Lee’s roles included Head of Program for post-graduate marketing and international business and a coordinator and lecturer for a range of postgraduate and undergraduate courses. In 2009 he was awarded the UWS Vice Chancellor’s Excellence Award in University Engagement and Winner of the College of Business Excellence Award for outstanding contributions to Research – Early Career Researcher (2006 and 2008).

From 1992 to 2001 Dr Lee was the proprietor of Hambledon Garden Centre, a retail, landscaping and plant hire business. Based in Parramatta, the Centre won the Parramatta Chamber of Commerce’s Regional Award for Service Excellence in 1996.

Dr Lee holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Horticulture) from Hawkesbury Agricultural College, a Master of Business Administration and a Doctor of Business Administration from the Macquarie Graduate School of Management.

Dr Lee has both Australian and Chinese ancestry. His paternal grandfather originated from the providence of Zhongshan, Southern China and moved to Australia in the 1920s. His maternal ancestors are of English and Scottish descent arriving in Australia early in the 1800s.

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